The time has come – finally. Since the Seattle Kraken was a spark in the eye of the NHL, it all pointed to that day, the day the team took on a player from 30 NHL teams. (Vegas is exempt.) Yes, the 2021 NHL expansion draft is here.
There is a lot of intrigue in this draft as clubs have left big names unprotected – names like Carey Price, Vladimir Tarasenko, two-time Stanley Cup champion Yanni Gourde and Flames captain Mark Giordano could wear a jersey Kraken in October. Of course, there could also be side deals and lots of deals, so some players’ stays in the Pacific Northwest may be shorter than others.
How GM Ron Francis will build his roster – and whether he’ll steal your favorite player – remains to be seen, but it will all play out on Wednesday night.
Here’s everything you need to know to see the 32nd NHL franchise take shape.
MORE: Watch the NHL Expansion Draft Live with fuboTV (7 Day Free Trial)
What channel is the 2021 NHL expansion draft airing on?
The draft is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 21. ESPN2 will broadcast the event live in the United States, marking the start of the network’s new contract with the NHL. Fans in Canada can see who they are losing from their teams roster on SN, SN Now and TVA Sports.
What are the rules for the 2021 NHL expansion draft?
This year’s expansion draft will follow the same rules as the Golden Knights in 2017.
Here is the breakdown.
For the 30 NHL teams losing a player:
- They can protect seven forwards, three defenders and a goalie OR eight skaters (any combination of attackers and defenders) and a goalie.
- Players who do not need protection and cannot be selected: first and second year players and unsigned draft picks.
- Any player with an immobility clause must be protected. Players can waive their clause and then be left unprotected. A number of players, such as Price, Jeff Skinner, Milan Lucic and Ben Bishop, have waived their clauses.
- One of the exposed defensemen and two of the exposed forwards must not only be under contract for the 2021-22 season, but must also have played in 27 or more games in 2021 OR played in 54 or more games in the NHL in the last two seasons. .
- An exposed goaltender must be under contract for 2021-2022 or be a restricted free agent pending.
- Players on the long-term injured reserve and with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 41 consecutive games (or who have otherwise been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) cannot be protected. and may also be exempt from being chosen.
EXPANSION PROJECT: Protected Lists | Available players
For the Kraken:
- They must select 30 players and at least 14 forwards, nine defenders and three goalkeepers.
- At least 20 of these players must be on contract for 2021-2022 and have a cumulative salary value between 60 and 100% of the upper limit ($ 81.5 million) of the salary cap.
- A selected player cannot be redeemed until next summer.
Why are the Golden Knights exempt?
Only 30 teams will lose a player because the Golden Knights, the second-youngest team in the NHL, are exempt from this year’s expansion draft. ESPN’s Emily Kaplan said the exemption was part of a deal Vegas owner Bill Foley made with the NHL in 2016. In return, Vegas does not receive a portion of the $ 650 million expansion fee. of Seattle dollars.
The top five players who could be selected by the Kraken
Vladimir Tarasenko, F, St. Louis Blues
Cap reached: $ 7.5 million, two years remaining on his contract
There are a lot of questions about the health of the Blues wingers, but when one of the game’s top scorers (218 goals, 224 assists in 531 career games) is available, how can you say no? There have been rumors that Tarasenko has returned after selection.
MOCK EXPANSION PROJECT: Carey Price and Vladimir Tarasenko headlining Seattle Kraken’s picks
Alexander Kerfoot, F, Toronto Maple Leafs
Cap Reached: $ 3.5 million, two years remaining
Rumor has it that Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas acquired Jared McCann just in case the team lose Kerfoot in the expansion draft. He left both players available, so the idea is that one could be taken. Kerfoot is older and more expensive, but he’s probably the better choice for the Kraken – and his selection may be a done deal:
Mark Giordano, D, Calgary Flames
Cap Reached: $ 6.75 million, one year
Giordano doesn’t necessarily want to leave Calgary, and Darryl Sutter surely doesn’t want to lose the guy he said is the team’s best defenseman in 2021 (and first-place winner Clayton H. Riddell for the Flames’ best defenseman) , but that too is probably a done deal. The 2019 Norris Trophy winner was the team’s best defenseman with 26 points and led everyone in ice time (22:57) while playing in all 56 games at 37. If he’s caught, then he’ll likely end up being the first Captain in Kraken history.
Kevin Shattenkirk, D, Anaheim Ducks
Cap Reached: $ 3.9 million, two years
It was a draw between Shattenkirk and Adam Henrique, but as they say the defense wins the championships – and Shattenkirk did it in 2020 with the Lightning. He’s a creative right-handed defenseman who has time on the power play while being solid in his own camp. Alongside Giordano, he will bring a veteran presence to the body.
Carey Price, G, Montreal Canadiens
Cap Reached: $ 10.5 million, five years
A Hall of Fame goalie who just posted some jaw-dropping playoff numbers with a connection to the Pacific Northwest? How could you not take it? Price, who played for the Tri-City Americans during his junior years (he met his wife, Angela there), would be the face of the Vegas-style franchise Marc-André Fleury. Of course there are questions about his health (knee and hip) and a goalkeeper with a hip injury is not ideal, but even if he is short on time he would be a fundamental choice for the new one. franchise.